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Belcastel
Aveyron, Occitania

On the edge of the Aveyron, this thousand-year-old village has been the privileged witness of the rich history that shaped it over the centuries. Dominated by its 11th century castle, which was tastefully restored by Fernand Pouillon, the village invites visitors to travel through time with its 15th century bridge, a vital link between the church and the
village. © Gilles Tordjeman

Belcastel Aveyron, Occitania 11
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Located in the Rignac region, on the former salt road, Belcastel is a remarkable medieval village irrigated by the Aveyron River, where time seems to stand still.A former stop on French routes of Saint Jean de Compostelle, the village has risen from its ashes thanks to the architect Fernand Pouillon.He purchased the castle in 1974, which he entirely restored until his death in 1986, along with part of the village. This magnificent 11th-century fortress, which has recently opened to the public, rises above the village, concealing lush courtyards, chapels, and magnificent gardens and water moats. Village inhabitants have continued to infuse fresh life into the entire area. In the shade of the old 15th-century bridge, magnificent stone houses contribute to a peaceful atmosphere. Strolling down sinuous cobblestoned lanes, one passes a baker’s oven or stone “chairs,” which were carved directly in Roquecante’s rock in the 16th century. Today, the castle is home to a contemporary art gallery inspired by the Amazing Gallery in New York City. A stunning contrast between the medieval Aveyron region and American greatness!